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Old 35 'lux repair


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Earlier this year a colleague of mine came to my desk at work and showed me the 35 'lux on his M4-P. There was what appeared to be either a glass fracture or a balsam separation in the front of the lens. He swore it hadn't been subjected to any knocks or drops.

I persuaded him to send it off to Malcolm Taylor for an opinion. Malcolm confirmed it was a balsam separation. He also said he had never seen such a separation between those two elements in a million years of Leica work.

However he said he would see what he could do.......He dismantled the lens, and for literally weeks the front group sat in a bath of alcohol to try to separate the couplet...it's not the kind of thing you can poke at with a Swiss Army Knife. Eventually the two came apart.

Yesterday Malcolm rang my colleague, said he had reassembled the lens, complete with new balsam; the coating was fine, so didn't need re-doing; he had it on the optical bench for alignment and testing and would my friend like it coding for use on the M8? Well why not?. £150 for the repair job and CLA and £60 for the coding. Don't know about you, but I reckon that's pretty good value bearing in mind the quality of the job Malcolm does.

I'm looking forward to seeing it. I suspect this will be an old 'lux to measure the other against.

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Yes, not only will Malcolm simply clean and service lenses, but he is also capable of polishing fungus etching out of the glass (unless it's beyond redemption)....and where necessary he can even re-coat older lenses. I don't think he has the technology to do more modern multi-coating, but he can certainly do the job on the more vintage items in which coating is likely to have suffered.

He's told me several times over the years that he was never impressed with Leitz's setting-up tolerances for their lenses, and by all accounts the rebuilding jobs he does really make previously " very good" lenses even better.

Anyone wondering about his qualifications, he's a very talented engineer: he used to work for Leitz, and left many many years ago rather disillusioned at their reluctance to take big steps forward, for example their refusal to put micro-switches in the M camera bodies to make their clumsy power-winders smaller and less clunky.


This used to be his email, give it a try: malcolmtaylor000@btconnect.com

If you ring him up, prepare for the time you'll spend on the phone by choosing a comfy chair and having a cuppa and some biscuits to hand.

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...I recommend calling him on the number provided above - per dodger, be prepared for a proper consultation. Speaking from personal experience, I have no doubt you will receive excellent service and value from Malcolm Taylor. Go to him, Neville - he totally restored my pre-asph 35 Summilux. :)

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